Tag Archives: Poison

Under The Radar: The Sleepers

If I were going to start a rock band, I’d want the boozy swagger of The Faces and The Rolling Stones mixed with the glam punch of Bowie and The New York Dolls plus the bombast of AC/DC and the stoner buzz of The Black Crowes and Izzy Stradlin. Looks like The Sleepers beat me to the punch.

Featuring a twin guitar attack over a kinetic rhythm section and an emotive (yet not preening) lead vocalist in Tommy Richied, their album Comeback Special distills all those influences through a combination ’77 punk attitude and a Sunset Strip hair metal glitz. And although it’s hit and miss – largely hit – it has that indescribable sound that wants to make you roll down the car window and blast it so the guy next to you can offer a knowing nod and smile.

I’m not one to fall for hyperbole without a second look, but I must admit that “what would happen if Jerry Lee Lewis married Appetite For Destruction instead of his cousin” is a hell of a description.

If that doesn’t do it for you, how about song titles? Any band that titles their songs “She Is My Drinking Problem” (think Poison amping up a country weeper), “Dirty Cop” and “Jailbait” has a sense of humor, at least, but while song subjects might not call Dylan to mind, they’re vehicles to set the tone for some great back-beats and some guitar noodling.

Tony Manno and Kevin Bannon interplay well on guitars, while Chris Cormier on bass and (I am not making this up) Johnny Action on drums are rock-solid. Kudos also to Elisa Carlson who adds piano and organ on a few tracks; they might want to bring her on full time. (This album came out in 2008; according to their website, Richied is no longer in the band and Bannon has taken over lead vocals).

Sometimes you need to remember that rock’n’roll can be straightforward and simple. I never heard the Chicago based band’s one previous album (Push It Nationwide) but after blasting this one a few times I’ll be seeking it out.

Listen to The Sleepers on Amazon.

The Sleepers on MySpace

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Under The Radar: Supergroupies

supergroupies album cover

If I ever want to explain to someone why I think the music industry crashed like a lawn dart, I’ll play them this album and then turn on the radio. Granted, glam rock is not for everyone, and this might be a little bit too bubblegum for some, but Supergroupies are way better than any of the hair metal bands who tried the same formula. Naturally, this album is completely unknown in the States.

It’s been three years since this puppy blew my mind – I hope they’ve got something new in the pipeline and didn’t take all that apathy to heart. Here’s my original review from 2006:

Let’s cut to the chase – this is the best glam pop record in years. 

From the opening salvo of “Give It all You Got” through the closing “Come One Come All”, Supergroupies is a thirteen-track, forty-minute joy ride. Several tracks are flat out killer, immediately accessible anthems that combine the harmonies of Sweet, the flamboyance of KISS, the strut of Cheap Trick, the camp of Poison and the balls of The Who. No, not Who’s Next era Townsend but, the 60s Who, the power pop Who. Think I’m kidding? Check out the guitar and drums on “Hot In Paris” and tell me you don’t see Pete’s windmill and Moon’s unconventional flailing yet focused playing. Yeahhh…told you so. 

Vocalist Kim Simon has the bubblegum lead vocal down cold and the background harmonies are tight and high-pitched. Guitar solos are short and sweet, while the rhythm section demands dashboard double-time. There are easily six or seven singles here, one of which (“Low Blue Flame”) is as good or better than anything Redd Kross has ever recorded. Enuff Z’nuff would kill for an album this consistent. It’s flash, it’s glittery, it’s cocky, it’s got makeup and it’s hopelessly, undeniably infectious. Hand claps? Yep. Cowbell? Uh-huh. Power ballad? “Say Goodbye”, check. Up-tempo, whip-crack pop, like the innocent exuberance of the Bay City Rollers “Saturday Night” laced with a testosterone chaser. 

So of course the album isn’t available in the US or UK. Nope, these four skinny white guys from Sweden are currently lighting up Japan, whose pop audiences always seem to know something before we do. Maybe that’s why they always get the bonus tracks on their version of the albums. Well, now you know. Go get this record now. You may have to stand in line behind a gazillion teenagers if you don’t hurry. 

Glam, bam, thank you ma'am.

Glam, bam, thank you ma'am.

The Supergroupies website.

Grab this album on Amazon before it disappears forever.

The Supergroupies MySpace site features four songs.

Supergroupies video: studio track and unplugged.

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Hello There, Ladies And Gents…

…are you ready to rock? Are you ready to rock?

That’s right, there is a new Cheap Trick album on the way. Order it here! Listen to the first single “Sick Man Of Europe” here.

The album will be available on CD, vinyl…and even 8-Track (sonnng…..ka-CHUNK….sonnnng). And the band will be playing the summer shed and amphitheatre tour with Def Leppard and Poison. (I hope they Scotchguard that tour bus, because I see a Petri dish in the making…)

No, those are not canes.

No, those are not canes.

Far more on Cheap Trick another time; I’m just thrilled they’re releasing another studio album 32 years after the debut. I was a record store guy at the time, and cracking that puppy open was a revelation. By In Color, it was madness. (And we all know what happened after Budokan.)

Cheap Young Trick

Cheap Young Trick

Cheap Trick’s YOUTUBE Channel.

Cheap Trick’s  official website

He’s A Whore“…one of the reasons I was onto this band from the jump.

One of my favorite Cheap Trick songs, “Oh Candy

Practice Makes Perfect.

Cheap Trick with…James Burton? Now you know…the rest of the story.

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